First Trimester (until 13 weeks)
After your pregnancy has been confirmed and an ultrasound has confirmed a viable fetus, you can start your prenatal care. The goal of prenatal care is to ensure the birth of a healthy baby with minimal risk for the mother.
The First Prenatal Care Visit is used to achieve this goal by:
- Confirming the proper gestational age of the fetus. This is important with regard to timed tests that occur during the pregnancy and monitoring proper fetal growth.
- Identifying risk factors that may affect your pregnancy.
- Providing a time for patient education and communication with your OB provider.
A Thorough Patient History
This will include personal information and information about your past obstetrical, gynecological, medical and surgical history. A family history will identify risks for genetic disease.
A Thorough Physical Exam
This will allow your doctor to evaluate the size of your uterus and the adequacy of your pelvis. Weight, blood pressure, and urine are checked and recorded. A body mass index is calculated to determine the proper amount of weight gain during the pregnancy and to help identify at risk populations
Standard Prenatal Laboratory Tests
- Maternal Blood Type and Antibody Screen
- Women with Rh negative blood will most often require Anti-D immunoglobin (Rhogam).
- This will decrease any risk to her fetus if it has a different type of blood.
- Women may have certain antibodies in the blood stream that may pose significant risk to the fetus.
- Blood Count: May identify certain types of anemia.
- Pap Smear in women 21 years old and older.
- Rubella Immunity Testing
- If women are found to be non-immune, they are counseled to receive Rubella immunization postpartum.
- HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia testing: To prevent prenatal transmission of these infections.
- Urine Culture
- Urinary Tract Infections and asymptomatic bacteria in the urine pose a high risk for developing kidney infections (pyelonephritis) which can increase the risk for preterm labor.
- Early Gestational Diabetes Testing for women who are at high risk.
- Varicella Testing (Chicken Pox): In women who are unsure about their past exposure.
- Other Genetic Disease Screenings: May be offered for women in high risk populations.
- Sickle Cell Disease (African-Americans): 1:8 African-Americans carry the sickle cell trait.
- Cystic Fibrosis: 1:11 Caucasians carry the Cystic Fibrosis gene.
- Tay-Sachs Disease: At risk populations such as people of Eastern European Jewish descent.